Over-the-counter pain relievers, including acetaminophen and ibuprofen, ease the pain of cellulitis, explains WebMD. Elevating the area is helpful in reducing the swelling and easing discomfort.
Since cellulitis is a skin infection, doctors often prescribe antibiotics, according to WebMD. In most cases, these are oral antibiotics, but if the infection is too severe, intravenous antibiotics are necessary. With the used of antibiotics, the infection typically clears in a couple of days. Doctors may use intravenous antibiotics if the person with cellulitis is very young or old, the person has other medical problems, or the infection covers a large area of the body. In rare cases, surgery may be required to treat cellulitis.
Practicing good hygiene and keeping the skin clean prevents cellulitis, claims WebMD. Individuals should not walk outdoors without shoes and should wash any injured skin with soap and water. Some injuries put a person at greater risk for cellulitis, including animal bites, puncture wounds, frostbite and crush injuries. Other injuries that require special care to avoid cellulitis include injuries that come in contact with ocean water and deep injuries with dirt in them. People who are injured and have swelling that does not dissipate should also contact a doctor.